American author J.A. Redmerski said, “I guess sometimes the greatest memories are made in the most unlikely of places, further proof that spontaneity is more rewarding than a meticulously planned life.”
And so it was one Saturday last month when an unknown couple suddenly started dancing at Eminağa Garden Centre and Café in Girne, North Cyprus.
After noticing the dancing couple had been captured on their closed circuit television (CCTV), the business owners decided to release the 7-second video to the Turkish Cypriot press.
Unsurprisingly, this burst of spontaneous happiness quickly went viral. At the time of writing, the clip had been viewed over 181,500 times online.
With the help of BRT presenter Denise Phillips, T-VINE decided to try and track the couple down to ask them a few questions.
Please tell us who the ‘dancing couple’ are
We are Carol and Terry Richards, maturing into middle age – well maybe a bit more than that.
We live in sunny Somerset in the UK, as well as the beautiful TRNC [Turkish Republic of North Cyprus], where we have owned a home for the last 15 years, but have enjoyed earlier visits to this beautiful island, coming on a day trip on the fast catamaran from Turkey over 30 years ago.
My husband and I are celebrating 44 years together while we are here in Cyprus, as we started going out on bonfire night in 1976.
Do you often burst into spontaneous dance?
Our dance teachers Ray and Suzanne would not be surprised at us starting to dance as it’s something we are often doing. We hear the music and off we go: in the street in Famagusta, on the beach in Alagadi, and of course the garden centre.
We have also danced in Tesco’s at home, when they had the Christmas choir in… not sure that was caught on camera though :))
And so many other places: the tallest building in the world, out walking on Exmoor, and of course in ballrooms, even Blackpool Tower – the home of ballroom dancing.
There’s no sound on the clip. What song prompted you to dance at Eminağa Garden Centre?
Our dance teachers saw the video and even without [hearing] the music, as they are so good at dancing and fabulous teachers, they knew it was a tango.
The music in the garden centre was absolutely fantastic and we could not resist a dance, as there was space and as dancing has been restricted by coronavirus, it was just spontaneous on our part as we so love to dance.
When and how did the two of you get into dance?
We only started ballroom dancing about 14 years ago, when we moved to Somerset. We like to say it’s our dance teachers who have created this ‘mad couple’ who dance all the time.
Dancing is a great way to meet people, keep fit, and improve your mental agility trying to remember all the steps. It also leads to healthy ‘debates’ – another name for arguments – about who was doing the steps wrong!!!
How do you feel about your Girne dance going viral?
We are surprised our little dance has got so much attention :))
We are really touched that this small – and to us normal – act that was caught on CCTV in the garden centre seems to have brought a smile to so many people.
In these times of so much bad news, it is great to be able to share something happy, even if we knew nothing about it until a friend sent me the link to the video that had gone on social media.
It has really made me appreciate that often it is the small things in life that make a big difference.
We enjoyed our dance, but the bigger effect has made us feel very special and shows why we love the TRNC so much … the people, their generosity of spirit, the love of simple things in life and the big hearts that everyone here has.
What’s drawn you to North Cyprus?
The TRNC is such a special place. We felt at home here all those years ago on our first visit, and feel very privileged to have been able to make it our home for parts of the year.
We have made some wonderful friends, Denise [Phillips] being one of them. Even when we are over 2,000 miles away, I have Cyprus Today delivered to keep up with the news, and I chat to Denise at least once a week, so feel I always have a part of me here [in North Cyprus].
Can you share a few photos so our readers can see who you are?
Of course. Funnily enough, one of them is of us dancing at Blackpool Tower (see above). As they say on Strictly: “Take care and keep dancing.”